updated 10:45 am EDT, Wed September 3, 2003
today introduced six new wireless peripherals with an innovative new scroll wheel and wireless optical technologies, including its Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer, IntelliMouse Explorer, Wireless Optical Mouse, Wireless Optical Desktop Elite, Wireless Optical Desktop Pro, Wireless Optical Desktop and Basic Wireless Optical Desktop. Each contains a new battery-saving wireless chip and Microsoft's new scroll wheel with proprietary Tilt Wheel Technology, offering both vertical and horizontal scrolling in a single wheel, accelerated scrolling, and the ability to toggle between open windows by depressing the wheel button. They are expected to ship by the end of September 2003.
"Two decades ago we designed the mouse simply as a utilitarian device to help users navigate Microsoft Word," said Matt Barlow, worldwide director of marketing and business development for Microsoft Hardware. "The mouse and keyboard have evolved to become essential devices used each day, and it is our goal to improve these products with innovations that are intelligent, intuitive and exciting. With the debut of these new features and technologies, we're revolutionizing the way consumers access the power of the PC." Microsoft said it may consider future licensing of Tilt Wheel Technology, a significant innovation in mouse scrolling.
Microsoft new devices also feature an optical chip that delivers longer battery life, which it says delivers more than six months of battery life for average use while maintaining mouse performance. The new wireless products also introduce smart receivers, which offer approximately 65,000 identification codes to reduce the occurrence of cross-talk. The receivers work with the included software to detect potential interference from other 27MHz wireless devices and feature a wizard that guides users through steps to reduce interference.
Microsoft also unveiled other new features, including: My Favorites Keys, a set of five new customizable keyboard buttons, is now available on select keyboards. The company also debuted a wide variety of colors, including Periwinkle and Metallic Red as well as unique textures and graphics to the mouse and keyboard lineup, with finishes such as the feel of leather and Blue Moon, a Microsoft Original Design.
New Mice Rollout
Microsoft this year will ship three new mice this year with its new scroll wheel with Tilt Wheel Technology and enhanced wireless Microsoft Optical Technology. Microsoft's Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer ($55), an ergonomic mouse with five buttons, is available in a variety of new finishes: Metallic Grey, Metallic Blue, Platinum and Black Leather ($65), while a wired version, IntelliMouse Explorer, is available as well. For ambidextrous comfort, Microsoft also introduced the Wireless Optical Mouse ($45) with a new three-button design in three colors, Metallic Red, Periwinkle and Steel Blue, and one graphic, Blue Moon.
Four New Wireless Desktops
The New Wireless Optical Desktop Elite ($105) includes a straight keyboard design and Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer, covered in a sleek titanium-and-metallic-gray finish. It also features a cushioned palm rest with the feel of leather, and a second left-side scroll wheel on the keyboard that also uses Tilt Wheel Technology.
Microsoft also said it updated its Wireless Optical Desktop Pro ($105) with its new Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer--complete with longer battery life and a new scroll wheel, delivering an ergonomic design and sleek black-and-titanium finish with translucent keys. In addition, this year Wireless Optical Desktop ($85), with its traditional flat keyboard in the same stylish design as its ergonomic counterpart, comes with the new ambidextrous Wireless Optical Mouse. Microsoft also introduced its Basic Wireless Optical Desktop ($65) in a bright white-and-gray finish.